ByJeremy Howard, writer at Creators.co
More of my stories at www.jerhow.com. THEME PARKS, MOVIES and TV, SPACE EXPLORATION, and more!
Jeremy Howard

With The Force Awakens just a few short weeks away, the Star Wars marketing SEASON has kicked in full FORCE. Put the two together, and whaddaya got?

"Season of the Force" has opened at Disneyland!

The thematic overlay to Tomorrowland touts 4 new entertainment offerings, described on Disney Parks Blog as:

Star Wars Launch Bay

This new area will offer opportunities to visit with favorite Star Wars characters, special exhibits, peeks at the upcoming Star Wars the Force Awakens and much more.

Star Tours – The Adventures Continue

This popular attraction will feature a new scene inspired by the upcoming film, Star Wars the Force Awakens.

Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple

Coming in December, a twist on the Jedi Training experience will introduce new characters and a new villain from the popular Disney XD series, Star Wars Rebels.

Hyperspace Mountain

For a limited time, guests will join an X-wing starfighter battle in this reimagining of the classic Space Mountain attraction.

The highlight of the experience was the new adventure added to Star Tours. A lot of thought went into making sure this new sequence seamlessly integrated into the classic attraction.

And yet, this is our first taste of the Episode VII-IX timeline on board the ride, which gives a fresh energy to it all. This moment in the ride had us traveling to a planet we will see in The Force Awakens flying alongside a very familiar and iconic starship and we even get to meet one of the new young characters.

There is every bit the sense of adventure combined with tongue-in-cheek cleverness as only Star Tours can deliver.

Hyperspace Mountain was a bit of a mixed bag. There’s really only so much one can do to transform a ride, with an infrastructure built from the 1970’s, into something entirely new and state-of-the-art.

For this one, you may want to keep those expectations curbed a bit. If you’ve been on the transformation of Space Mountain into Ghost Galaxy, Hyperspace Mountain is about on par with this, indeed, with a few unique Star Wars-centric surprises, some new special effects, and the classic soundtrack you’d expect to hear.

It’s probably worth it if the wait time is 90 minutes or less. If you find on your visit, it’s stretched out to 3 hours, your time is probably more wisely spent riding one of the other classic E-Tickets in the park.

Inside the Magic Eye Captain Eo theater was a nice retrospective of all of the films, called Path of the Jedi. Making use of the incredible sensory experience inside this theater, we were treated to an exciting and emotional montage of sequences from all six films, including one of the trailers for the next installment.

True to form, when explosions are on screen, our seats shook and vibrated. When lightsabers clashed, lights in the theater flashed. You could feel the impact of the blades.

The Captain Eo theater has become a must-see for me in recent years. Whenever there is a new movie preview, I’ll make it a point to check it out simply for just the particularly amazing feeling of watching something here. Star Wars brings out the best of this.

There wasn’t a particularly overwhelming saturation of Star Wars while walking around inside Tomorrowland, which was a bit surprising. Perhaps the crowds had something to do with the lack of character interactions, although the Seasons of the Force description by Disney doesn’t indicate this as being a part of their offerings, and it’s important to note this. It’s a reminder to us that this is not intended to be the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, nor is this supposed to be Star Wars Land-light.

This is simply a nice seasonal offering that gives us a few new things to do inside Disneyland to continue to hold us over until the massive expansion gets underway. It also does its part to continue to rev up the excitement over the release of The Force Awakens. A fun diversion for a brisk California winter night.

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